Dear Friends of Woolman,
During these past few months, I have met many people connected to Woolman in one way or another. There have been varying responses from people when they learn that I work at Woolman. For the most part, there has been a hesitant interest in what we're trying to do here, while others are even more cautious, almost afraid to hope once more that Woolman will thrive. More people than I'd like to say have responded with some version of, "Good luck with that!," as if to ask me, "Do you really dare to hope that this will work?"
Yes, I do.
Because, for every hesitant doubter, I have also received many encouraging responses: expressions of deep appreciation and connection with Woolman -- an experience, a relationship with the place, or even a lifetime saga infused with love and transformation. People who say, Thank you for caring for Woolman, for making it possible for others to experience its magic. These people have rich stories of how Woolman changed their lives or how they helped steward Woolman throughout its chapters. They share their encouragement and joy with me, and I've had many warm welcomes and hugs. I often call upon these memories of welcome and encouragement to fuel my days of hard work.
I also dare to hope because the land calls me to.
The sun is setting earlier each day, and we are enjoying crisp evenings here on campus, even as the days continue to provide a good dose of sunshine. Our resident deer and jackrabbit families explore the land, and the otter has returned to Mel's pond! While Spring is usually the season associated with hope and renewal, I find that Autumn is inspiring a strong sense of hope as we open new programs and anticipate the rainy season, which will support land restoration activities that can only happen when there's water falling from the sky. Autumn is also when schools reopen, and who doesn't feel hope with a new school year? We are now busy planning with schools to schedule field trips and outdoor education programs through Woolman Outdoor School. All of this brings me great hope.
Mostly, though, I hope because it is working! I look around me and I see highly capable people doing amazing work. Our programs are interesting and life-giving, and they are enriching the lives of youth, families, and adults. Artists gather and make art. Families gather to connect with nature and with each other. Students explore and learn from the trees and the stream and the farm.
Wherever you are on your journey with Woolman, I hope you'll take the time to read this newsletter, visit the campus, participate in our programs, and join me in daring to hope.
My warmest regards,